Selected aspects of modern seismic imaging and near-surface velocity model building in the area of Carpathian fold and thrust belt


  • Andrzej Michał Dalętka AGH University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Protection, Krakow, Poland; Geofizyka Torun S.A., Toruń, Poland



seismic imaging, seismic refraction, seismic forward modelling, Carpathian fold and thrust belt, tomographic inversion, shallow velocity model


Despite the increasing technological level of the reflection seismic method, the imaging of fold and thrust belts remains a demanding task, and usually leaves some questions regarding the dips, the shape of the subthrust structures or the most correct approach to velocity model building. There is no straightforward method that can provide structural representation of the near-surface geological boundaries and their velocities. The in-terpretation of refracted waves frequently remains the only available technique that may be used for this purpose, although one must be aware of its limitations which appear in the complex geological settings.

In the presented study, the analysis of velocity values obtained in the shallow part of Carpathian orogenic wedge by means of various geophysical methods was carried out. It revealed the lack of consistency between the results of 3D refraction tomography and both the sonic log and uphole velocities. For that reason, instead of the indus-try-standard utilization of tomography, a novel, geologically-consistent method of velocity model building is pro-posed. In the near-surface part, the uphole velocities are assigned to the formations, documented by the surface geologic map. Interpreted time-domain horizons, supplemented by main thrusts, are used to make the velocity field fully-compatible with the litho-stratigraphic units of the Carpathians.

The author demonstrates a retrospective overview of seismic data imaging in the area of the Polish Carpathian orogenic wedge and discusses the most recent global innovations in seismic methodology which are the key to successful hydrocarbon exploration in fold and thrust regions.


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How to Cite

Dalętka, A. M. (2021). Selected aspects of modern seismic imaging and near-surface velocity model building in the area of Carpathian fold and thrust belt. Geology, Geophysics and Environment, 47(2), 71–93.